May 17th, 2016

Triathlon Luggage: 7 Must-Pack Sections of Your Bag

Triathlon Luggage: 7 Must-Pack Sections of Your Bag

On your mark, get set…wait, don’t go yet! Before you leave for your first out-of-town triathlon, make sure to pack these items!

You’ve been training for your first out-of-town triathlon for months, and, man, has it been a commitment. Your alarm has gone off at ungodly hours for chilly swims, hilly bike rides, and long runs, and you’ve probably stumbled at least once while practicing the transition from your wetsuit to your biking apparel. You’ve visualized the entire course ad nauseam, and you’ve even overcome a Jaws-induced fear of open water. It’s clear that you’re ready to rock this thing—now all you need to do is pack.

Packing strategically for an out-of-town triathlon is critical to your race success, not to mention the key to avoiding spending a zillion dollars on last-minute necessities at the race expo. Learn which essential items to pack in your bag, and how to keep them organized for the big race.

Shoe Lockers: So Many Shoes

When it comes to shoes, minimalist packing is usually best. For a triathlon, though, break convention and pack loads of footwear—keeping the particularly smelly shoes in an anti-microbial shoe locker. In addition to your trusty running and cycling shoes, make sure to bring pre-race sandals or flip-flops and a pair of comfortable, blister-friendly walking shoes for pre-race wanders and post-race celebrations.

Fitness Locker: Wetsuit and Dry Clothes

Even though it’s a struggle to peel it off, your wetsuit makes that plunge into open water a lot more comfortable. Pack it—along with every single piece of your biking and running apparel—in one packing organizer so it’s easy to grab on race day. Take extra care not to leave behind the easy-to-forget items, like socks, a sports bra, and a windbreaker if it’s chilly. Even though these clothes will be dry on the way there, the best place to pack them is in a wet dry fitness locker so you can stash your damp gear in one compartment on your way home.

Pack-It Sport™ Kit: Headgear and Eyewear

Competing in a triathlon is kind of like watching the Kentucky Derby, in that you really need the correct headwear. Pack your bike helmet, swim cap, and running visor (or hat) in a Pack-It Sport™ Kit—an all-in-one organizer. Use the smaller top compartment for your race day eyewear, like goggles and athletic sunglasses.

Toiletry Kit: Lotions and Potions

Competing in a triathlon isn’t the most glamorous activity (right, toenails?), but it does require its own version of a “glam squad” for prepping your body. Pack a toiletry kit (the Pack-It Sport™ Quick Trip is antimicrobial and has a TPU treatment to repel water) with sunscreen, wetsuit lubricant, body glide, deodorant, goggle anti-fog solution, chamois cream, salt pills, anti-inflammatories, petroleum jelly, bandages, nail clippers, and anything else in your body-prep regimen. This dopp kit will be your best friend in the transition area.

Mini Stuffer: Running Fuel

Even if there are nutrition and water stops along the course, give yourself peace of mind by packing your own chews, gels, and bars (which you can find for a better price and selection in advance than at the pre-race expo) in a Pack-It Sport™ Laundry Stuffer.

Side Pouches: Towel and Water Bottles

The side pouches of your bag are a great place to organize race essentials that might take up too much room in organizers. Put your running water bottle and biking water bottle in one side pocket, and a transition area towel in the other. The TravelLite™ Towel XL will be a big help on race day, because it comes in a mesh bag that you can hang in your transition area.

Saddle Bag: Emergency Items

No matter how well you’ve prepared, stuff happens—especially with your bike. Plan in advance for last-minute bike repairs by packing a lightweight saddlebag with everything that you need for a tire blowout: mini-pump or CO2 cartridges, patch kit, spare tube, multi-tool, and tire levers. Leave enough room in your saddlebag to add your identification card and race nutrition on race day—just be sure not to pack too much and weigh yourself down!

For even more packing tips, click here.

Have you conquered an out-of-town triathlon before? What were some of the must-haves that made it into your luggage? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Cool Running: 9 Tips to Survive a Winter Run

5 Outdoor Alternatives to Your Indoor Gym Routine

How to Pack for Your Destination Race

by Caila Ball-Dionne

Caila Ball-Dionne is a freelance writer and full-time travel enthusiast. You can find more of her writing at